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Thursday, April 02, 2020

It’s a really busy week coming up, you think with trepidation, but you have to put dinner on the table. The family will protest if you try pizza or spaghetti every night. And prepared take-out never tastes quite fresh by the time everyone eats it. So besides cloning yourself, or figuring out how to make the day longer than 24 hours, do you have any options?

Douglas Soclof feels your pain. Even better, he has a solution. Kitchn Synch puts together everything you need for three meals with Kof-K supervision, and delivers the package to your door. There, in a perfectly organized box, wrapped and nestled in ice, are three recipes with pre-measured ingredients, ready to come together with your skillful hands.

Soclof took note of the developing “meal-kit” industry and immediately recognized its potential. “I thought it was an awesome idea for the kosher consumer,” he told JLNJ. He spent a year and a half teaching himself about the meal-kit industry, researching how to develop the product and learning who would be interested.

“The concept of Kitchn Synch is to make people’s lives easier,” Soclof said. “This is not a cooking tutorial. It’s the ability to have an elevated kosher experience without going to the grocer, and having it delivered right to your door.”

Every week, Kitchn Synch presents six different options, and you choose three meals and the number of people you want to serve. Looking through the menu one week, I found: London broil with balsamic plum sauce, potato scallion pancakes, jalapeno aioli and roasted baby carrots; Chicken paillard with za’atar, Israeli couscous with golden raisins and almonds and fennel salad and Pretzel chicken fingers with maple dip, charred edamame, purple cabbage and rice noodle salad. The price is the same for all selections: two people, 6 meals, for $89.95; four people, 12 meals for $179.80; or the Family Plan, 6 adults, 12 kids for $179.80.

The prices fall in between what it would cost to shop yourself and the price of fully prepared food. “People don’t realize what it costs to cook dinner during the week,” Soclof said. The benefits go beyond price, he explained. “We hear so many stories from a lifestyle perspective. People say dinner was survival but with Kitchn Synch, we sit down and have dinner together.”

Meal-kit plans in the non-kosher world are all by subscription but Soclof doesn’t want anyone to feel locked in. “I know the kosher consumer’s schedule and there’s no way to have the meals subscription based. Things happen week to week, like school activities or events,” he said. “People try it and come back when they need it. Reordering has been spectacular.”

Meal kits fill a void for many kinds of consumers. Singles, working couples, parents with small children, empty nesters—who doesn’t need to shave time off meal preparation without sacrificing quality? People who don’t live near kosher markets also benefit from Kitchn Synch. Outside the New York metropolitan area, Kitchn Synch delivers to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Silver Spring and Boston. Headed to the Hamptons this summer? Let Kitchn Synch do the shopping and chopping, so you can spend extra time on the beach.

The box at your door is put together by a “talented operational team” assembled by Soclof from his many years in the hospitality industry. You may not know Douglas, but you are probably well acquainted with Dougie’s. Soclof began Dougie’s in 1994 and sold the company in 2008 after growing it to 15 locations. In 2009, he was named Director of Operations and Business Development for Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and expanded the company from its base in Los Angeles, to eight locations in New York City in 12 months.

Soclof plans to add a bridal registry and Shabbos and Yom Tov packages. But he wants to make sure consumers understand and feel comfortable with the concept first. “Now we are busy building the foundation,” he said. “Then we can build an incredible house on top.”

To order, visit www.kitchnsynch.com.

By Bracha Schwartz